San Jose, Calif. - To wrap up its longest stretch of games away from home, the San José State women’s basketball team plays at the Oregon Ducks on Monday evening. The game also marks the second time in her seven year’s as a collegiate head coach, that SJSU’s Jamie Craighead has led a team against her alma mater.
San José State Spartans (1-3)
Oregon Ducks (5-0)
Monday, November 30, 8:00 p.m.
Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Ore.
Broadcast on Pac-12 Network (DISH - Channel 413, Comcast/Xfinity - Channel 434)
Live stats link available at www.sjsuspartans.com
Fans can view live stats of all San José State women’s basketball games, home and away, by accessing the Gametracker feature at www.sjsuspartans.com. Click on the link on the women’s basketball schedule page to follow the action.
Keep up with Spartans women’s basketball on all our social media platforms. The team’s Twitter handle is @sjswbb, Facebook page is /SanJoseStateWBB, Instagram is sjsu_wbb.
Fans across the nation and internationally can listen to every Spartans’ women’s home game and select road games via Stretch Internet Radio. Jess Knaster and Ta’Rea Cunnigan, the leading scorer in San José State basketball history, bring you all the action. You can access the broadcast through the women’s basketball schedule page at www.sjsuspartans.com.
RAMOS NAMED PRESEASON MOUNTAIN WEST NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah), who averaged 10.4 points, 3.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals in two seasons at Weber State and sat out 2014-15 due to NCAA transfer rules, earned MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year honors, by a vote of the conference coaches and media representatives last month. Ramos is the first Spartan to earn the honor in the now three years the team has competed in the conference.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Despite being out-rebounded this year by an average of 6.2 boards per game (46.5-to-52.8), the Spartans are one of the best rebounding team’s on the offensive glass. Close to half of the team’s average rebounds come on the offensive end of the court (19.3/g). They lead the Mountain West Conference in the category and rank 12th in the nation.
TOUGH PRESEASON SLATE
The old adage goes that a tough preseason schedule gets you ready for the conference slate. If that is true then San José State will be prepared when Mountain West action starts. Of the Spartans 11 non-conference opponents, nine participated in the postseason in 2014-15.
One was in the NCAA Tournament (New Mexico State), seven played in the WNIT (Saint Mary’s, CSU Bakersfield, Washington State, San Francisco, South Dakota, Pacific, and Hawai’i) and Southern Oregon competed in the NAIA Division II National Tournament.
END IT IN REGULATION!
With San José State’s stunning 90-88 overtime loss at CSU Bakersfield (11/22), the Spartans are just 1-7 in overtime games since the start of the 2006-07 season. The lone win in that span was an 80-77 win at Nevada (2/7/15). In the program’s history, SJSU is 10-15 in games that cannot be decided in regulation time.
Craighead played for the Ducks from 1999-2002. She led the team in assists as a junior (2000-01) and in three-point percentage in both her junior and senior (2001-02) seasons. In her for years at UO, she participated in four NCAA Tournament games and still holds the record for three-point attempts in a game (21 vs. Iowa - 3/17/01).
Muscatell, in two stints, roamed the Oregon sideline for nine years (1999-03 & 2010-14). He recruited Craighead to Oregon and those team’s participated in the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Tournaments and were champions of the 2002 WNIT Tournament. He recruited current Duck superstar Jillian Alleyne, who upon conclusion of her collegiate career will be among the greatest players the program has produced.
Riana Byrd (Sr., C, Richmond, Calif.) is a good season away from becoming just the second player in San José State women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in a career. Averaging both 9.0 points and rebounds per game over her three years at SJSU, Byrd currently has with 851 points and 843 rebounds. At her current pace she could reach both milestones and join the 1,000/1,000 club against UNLV on February 10, 2016.
WE’VE GOT OFFENSE
San José State averaged 78.5 points a game last year to lead the Mountain West and finish the season 11th in the nation. In four games, the 2015-16 edition of the Spartans appear to be even more potent. They are averaging 85.3 points, 8.4 points per game more than the second ranked team in the conference. The team currently ranks 17th in scoring in the nation.
BAKER IS COOKING
Aniya Baker (Jr., G, Perris, Calif.) averaged 7.9 ppg last season, but in the four games at the end of the year upped that number to a 13.3 per game clip. So far this year, she’s picked up right where she left off. Baker is averaging 14.0 ppg, which is second on the team and ranks second in the Mountain West. At Saint Mary’s (11/15) she had a team-leading and career-high 21 points.
Baker leads the team in assists (13) and free throw percentage (.857) and is second in steals (10) and third in minutes (26.8).
PAC-12 OPPONENTS ARE NOT KIND
When the Spartans meets Oregon (11/30) it will be the 124th time SJSU has faced a Pac-12 foe. The Spartans are just 37-86 (30.1 percent) in the first 123 match-ups. The Spartans have a losing record against 11 of the 12 members of the conference and the lone team they have beaten more times than not...Stanford. San José State is 13-10 against the Cardinal.
FROM BEYOND THE ARC...THERE ARE NO RED LIGHTS
In 2014-15, the Spartans led the Mountain West in three-point attempts (872) and makes (271). That’s an average of 27.3 attempts and 8.5 makes per game and 2015-16 looks to be even higher. In four games the team had hoisted 143 threes (35.6/g) and has drained 44 (11.0/g). Both numbers lead the conference and the 11.0 makes is fourth best in the nation.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT FOR RAMOS
Dezz Ramos (Jr., PG, West Valley, Utah) made her Spartans debut at Saint Mary’s and for the first time in a long time SJSU has a slick ball handler who will push the pace and look to score and distribute. Ramos finished the Saint Mary’s game with 15 points, three assists and a pair of rebounds in 28 minutes. Perhaps most importantly...she had zero turnovers. In a vote of the conference’s coaches and media members, Ramos was named Preseason Mountain West Newcomer of the Year.
THE SUN IS RISING FOR THE SPARTANS WEST
Rachol West (Jr. G, Bakersfield, Calif.) nearly doubled her offensive output from her freshman to sophomore year and with 11 three-pointers in the last three games, it looks like that trend is continuing. She is one of five Spartans who are averaging at least nine points per game (9.8 ppg) and ranks second in the MW and 29th in the nation with 3.0 made threes a game. Her five treys at Saint Mary’s (11/15) equaled a single-game career-best.
GETTING IT DONE
Jasmine Smith (Jr., F, Burbank, Calif.) is nearly averaging a double double this year (12.3 ppg & 8.8 rebs). Her scoring average ranks third on the team and she is shooting a team-best .525, which ranks in the top-10 in the Mountain West. Her 8.8 boards are fourth in the conference.
She is the conference’s top rebounder on the offensive glass (5.0/g) and ranks 24th in the NCAA. Her 4.3 defensive rebounds a game is 11th in the Mountain West.
In three games, so far, Smith has two double doubles, 38th in the nation and tops in the MWC.
HARRIS DOING EVERYTHING
Nyre Harris (Sr., G, Stockton, Calif.) is a team captain and is leading by example. Harris tops the team, conference and ranks 6th in the nation with 4.3 steals per game. In addition, she leads the team in minutes (28.3/g), defensive rebounds, (16), is second in rebounds (5.8/g), field goal percentage (.444), assists )11), and third in offensive rebounds (7). She has the second highest three-point percentage (.428) and ranks fifth on the team at 9.0 point per game. In the opener, against Southern Oregon (11/13), Harris picked up the first double double of her college career scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
MORE BYRD WATCHING
Senior Riana Byrd (Sr., C, Richmond, Calif.) began 2015-16, 182 points from becoming the 14th member of the program’s 1,000-point club and entering the game at Washington State sits 161 point from becoming the 14th player to reach the milestone.
Byrd, who has averaged 9.0 rebounds a game her career, is 157 rebounds from reaching 1,000. She is 104 boards from passing Rhoda Chew (946 from 1982-85) for second place on the program’s career list and 220 from passing Banks (1,062) for the all-time record. In addition, Byrd holds the career record for blocked shots (167).
TURN’EM OVER AND STEAL’EM
San José State’s pressure defense can produce a lot of turnovers and a lot of steals, 645 and 347, respectively last season, for an average of 20.2 forced turnovers and 10.8 steals per game.
In 18 games, in 2014-15, the Spartans forced at least 20 turnovers and posted a 14-4 record. They forced 33 turnovers against Southern Oregon and won 92-78.
In games in which the team had at least 11 steals, the Spartans were 10-5. They picked the pocket of Southern Oregon players 20 times in the season opening win.
So far in 2015-16, the Spartans have forced 107 turnovers (26.8/g) and have gotten 55 steals (13.8/g). SJSU’s 13.8 steals a game ranks ninth in the nation and its turnover margin of +7.25 is the 20th best in the NCAA.
The Ducks are off to a 5-0 start in 2015-16, and after defeating North Carolina in Chapel Hill to open the season, have won four straight at home. They average 78.0 points a game and have been winning by an average of 20.8 points. In its four home games, UO has held opponents 52.3 points per contest.
Oregon has four players who are averaging double figures led by Jillian Alleyne (15.2 ppg and 11.8 rebs). Alleyne is second on the team in assists (19), blocks (7) and steals (9). Maite Cazorla paces the squad with 33 assists and 12 steals. She is also averaging 7.2 points.
Kelly Graves is in his second season leading the Ducks program. He brought a 13-17 record at Oregon and a Division I career-record of 395-179 into the 2015-16 season.
THE SERIES WITH OREGON
The Spartans and Ducks have met 11 times, but this will be the first time they have shared the court in seven years. SJSU won the first match-up in the program’s inaugural season, but have come away with just one other victory in the 10 succeeding meetings. San José State has never won in Eugene, in the last meeting, in 2008-09, SJSU had a shot to win at the buzzer, a 69-68 loss.